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Unreserved Wine Talk

237 EpisodesProduced by Natalie MacLeanWebsite

The Unreserved Wine Talk podcast features candid conversations with the most fascinating people in the wine world. Your host, award-winning journalist Natalie MacLean, dives into how it feels to compete in the nerve-wracking World's Best Sommelier Competition, the shadowy underground of wine forgery… read more


162: Sherry, Rioja, Cava and Other Spanish Wine Gems with Interpreting Wine's Lawrence Francis

Why is Sherry one of the most complex wines on the planet and also one of the most misunderstood? What’s it like to visit the underground caves in Spain where the sparkling wine Cava is aged? How can you choose between Cava, Prosecco and Champagne for different occasions?


In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Lawrence Francis, host of the Interpreting Wine podcast.


You can find the wines we discussed at


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Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video.


I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time.


I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?


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What was the inspiration behind Lawrence’s at-home podcast studio?

How did Lawrence find his way from psychology to the wine industry?

What is Hemingway’s connection to the wines of Spain?

What’s it like to visit Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, where Cava is aged in caves under the city?

What are some of the unique and interesting aspects of Cava and its production?

How can you choose between Cava, Prosecco and Champagne for different occasions?

What makes the Copa Jerez International Competition of Gastronomy and Sherry Pairing so exciting?

Which sherry and food pairing was most memorable for Lawrence?

Why does sherry pair so well with food?

Why should producers share more about grapes and terroir when talking about sherry?

What makes sherry so complex?

How do the alcohol levels in sherry compare to Port?

What was the goal behind creating sherry cocktails?

Why does Lawrence think we should be paying more attention to Madrid wines?

How are the younger generations of Rioja winemakers changing the landscape?


Key Takeaways

Lawrence reminds us that sherry is one of the most complex, delicious wines on the planet, with its range from dry to sweet, and the myriad of nutty flavours and colours it creates. That also makes it so food-friendly, from tapas to seafood.

It would be magical to visit the underground caves in Spain where the sparkling wine Cava is aged. I enjoyed how he gave us an underground tour of the city of Sant Sadurní d'Anoia in our minds. I can just imagine millions of resting bottles in those quiet caves.

I found it helpful how he differentiated Prosecco, Cava and Champagne in terms of food pairing and occasion.


About Lawrence Francis

Lawrence Francis spent 10 years as a Psychologist and Coach before entering the wine industry. He’s been the host of the Interpreting Wine podcast since 2017; helping winemakers with underpriced, undersold or unknown wines address these challenges with compelling storytelling that engages wine consumers. Four years later, he’s now published more than 430 episodes, with more than 300,000 downloads in 150 countries.




To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit

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